Table 2

‘Top 10’ research priorities for the organisation of primary healthcare services, identified by the Delphi expert panel*

RankResearch questionRelevant PHC system input categories
(from figure 1)
Gap identified in evidence review?
1What is the most effective and sustainable PHC service delivery model for the management of chronic diseases in a resource-constrained setting?All input categories
2What are sustainable models of disease integration that would (A) make best use of existing vertical programmes, and (B) strengthen PHC?Planning and accountability
3How can task shifting (eg, use of non-physician health workers) be used to support the delivery of PHC?Service delivery
Workforce development
Patient management tools
4How can we address the different barriers to continuity of patient care in urban and rural/remote areas?Service delivery
Patient management tools
5How can we project the PHC needs of the future?Planning and accountability
6What package of PHC services is the most effective and appropriate for the population?Service delivery
Planning and accountability
7What is the impact on the well-being, motivation and workload of community health workers when integrating a new PHC programme?Workforce development
Planning and accountability
8What is the optimum mix of health workers at PHC level?Service delivery
Workforce development
9How do we ensure that essential drugs and diagnostics are always available in PHC services?Essential medicines, vaccines and technologies
10How can we best integrate primary, secondary and tertiary care across the health sector?Planning and accountability
  • *The Delphi expert panel comprised 15 stakeholders from seven Asia-Pacific low- and middle-income countries (as listed in table 1) in addition to seven stakeholders with experience of primary health care services at a regional level.

  • PHC, primary health care.